Yesterday I had my third endoscopy in this past year.
For those of you who may not know, an endoscopy is when a camera, on a flexible tube, is put down your throat in order to look at your oesophagus, stomach, and other upper gastrointestinal bits.
So… It’s not very pleasant.
The first one that I had, despite fasting overnight and throughout the day beforehand, I still had food in my stomach. That meant I threw up as soon as they tried to put the camera down. And, I continued to be sick. It was horrific.
That meant I had to have another endoscopy done. I fasted for two days before that one.
Both of those showed nothing exciting so when my new gastroenterologist told me she wanted to do another one herself, I wasn’t looking forward to it.
This scope was done at a different hospital and the experience was different this time. I found this hospital to have a better staff to patient ratio and I felt very cared for. The first hospital was clearly understaffed and, whilst most of the staff did the best they could, it had more of a factory assembly line feel to it than a place of healing.
After we arrived and the nurse went over the paperwork (medications, allergies, questions, etc.), I was lead to a bed in a bay in the recovery area.
Soon, the nurse had worked her magic and got a cannula, or IV, in me. That’s no easy feat as my veins aren’t always great, but this was a huge relief as I opted to be sedated for the procedure.
After waiting a while, I was rolled in. The consultant was there and we went over everything. One piece of news that she gave me was the results of the blood tests I had a month or so ago. It turns out my tsh thyroid hormone was very low, although my t4 was in the normal range. She explained that this meant something might be going on, that I’d need more tests, and she is recommending I see an endocrinologist.
My scope went well, although she found some gastritis and a small hiatal hernia. These weren’t present in my previous tests, so I’m inclined to think my constant vomiting is very much related here. That being said, I’ll have to wait for my appointment with the consultant to go over things.
It’s always a weird, conflicting experience receiving bad test results when you have chronic conditions.
On one hand, you are obviously unhappy that something is wrong. It is especially difficult when it is something new; something different.
It’s frustrating knowing you will have to add another set of doctors to see, appointments to organise, opinions to juggle, medications to track, and symptoms to figure out.
Not to mention, it’s not nice having list of diagnoses longer than most people’s grocery lists!
On the other hand, sometimes test results can be validating. Now you have a reason for your symptoms, and a better understanding of what is wrong. Then, hopefully, you can work towards a treatment or management plan.
I’m thankful that my gastro consultant was thorough and ordered the thyroid tests, when she ordered the other blood tests. Because whilst I am frustrated that there is something else potentially wrong, I’m glad that it was caught and I might get some relief for certain symptoms.
So, the plan is to follow up with my GP to get my stomach biopsy results to see if I need medication, and to deal with my test results.
Now, I’ll leave you with some advice: if you are getting a scope… Get sedation.